|Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada|
|Lake Louise in the middle of spring|
|from bottom left, clockwise: Pre-Mother's Day lunch & dinner, Mother's Day lunch & dinner, and post-Mother's Day breakfast|
|Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, clockwise from top right: our room, the view, and the pool|
|outdoor heated pool|
After lunch, we proceeded to Banff where my daughters booked us for the night at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, a large castle-like building for which the chain is noted. Built in 1888, this historic hotel from the time of railway tourism is today a Banff emblem. It is set off on its own in a wooded area, appearing like a dream as we wound up the road on the hill. Our well-appointed room at the floor just below the top looks out to lovely views, including the Bow River tumbling over a cliff-like rise.
The staff at Lake Louise told us to check out the pool area. And so we did. It exceeded our expectations! An Olympic-sized pool enchants you inside, including the secluded hot tub at one end and elegant chaise lounge chairs all around. But almost everyone was in the pool outdoors. It is heated and has magnificent views of the Bow Valley mountains. I could have stayed there forever, but Bill pulled me away. He had reservations for my pre-Mother’s Day dinner with more spectacular views at the Rundle Lounge.
|Me and my grizzlies, downtown Banff|
After checking out from Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, we moved to Holiday Inn in Canmore, the town near the southeast boundary of the Banff National Park. Since the city was chosen to host the Nordic events of the 1988 Winter Olympics, tourism has flourished. The population is now over 12,000. We had not been there before so we shopped and strolled at a more leisurely pace. It has the small town feel but the same magic from the ever-present snow-capped mountains. Downtown Banff is bigger and has more establishments, but its population is smaller at less than 9,000.
|Canmore: clockwise from top left: the mountains, the Head,|
the original Hotel, and bubbles in a garden
The girls and Bill outdid themselves in 2016! As I said, despite the neglect they suffered as I became more of a father than a mother as a single parent, focused on my career, they have always made me feel special on Mother's Day. It was not only a great break from babysitting but a Mother’s Weekend Getaway I will forever treasure. I wonder how they could top this in 2017?